Pay Attention to Me!
The fact remains that the reason your cat is so noisy and demanding might just be your doing. There’s a fine line between positive and negative reinforcement of your cat’s behavior—and staying on the right side of this line can be difficult.
As mentioned previously, the most common reason for your cat’s meowing is probably the most obvious one—it gets results. In the same way that a human infant discovers that by crying it can receive food, comfort, and attention, your cat is just as quick in making the mental leap between the meow and being rewarded with what it wants.
This habit can be tough to break—for both you and your cat. Rewarding quiet behavior is a possible remedy, says Krieger, but it will require you to ignore your cat’s pleas for attention, and rewarding your cat with affection when she is sitting quietly. Attention seeking meowing, claims Krieger, can be stopped gradually, and without the use of negative reinforcement when your cat is vocal.
“First, it's important to address the need for attention when the cat is not demanding attention with play sessions, treasure hunts, clicker training, and other activities,” says Krieger. “At the same time, the meowing is never reinforced with attention. When the cat is quiet, she is reinforced. Clicker training is a very effective tool for this.”